October 16, 2011

Hutchings is a versatile prospect

Concord (Calif.) De La Salle has been kind to Michigan in the past. Wide receiver Amani Toomer starred for the Wolverines from 1992 to 1995, and quarterback Matt Gutierrez played two years at Michigan, before injuries led him to transfer to Idaho State after losing the starting position to Chad Henne. The Wolverines have turned their attentions in 2013 back toward De La Salle, offering 6-2, 210-pound linebacker Michael Hutchings.

He's expected to grow into a true linebacker at the next level, while still maintaining the athleticism to defend against both run and pass. With offers from USC, Cal, and Michigan, Hutchings's speed has allowed him to excel at all three levels of the defense.

That doesn't mean Hutchings is without his flaws. He started his junior campaign playing a tentative brand of defensive football. That prevented his physical gifts from translating into production on the field. However, he has since ratcheted up his intensity level, and is back to displaying what makes him a coveted prospect.

Eidson is expecting that switch to remain in the "on" position. If Hutchings can maintain his current intensity level over an entire season, his athletic ability will allow him to be a special prospect.

De La Salle has produced a number of high-profile defensive players over the years. If Hutchings can live up to the legacies of such players as D.J. Williams, Kevin Simon, and Cameron Colvin - just to name a few - the school he ultimately selects will be landing an excellent defensive player.

Michigan's connections to De La Salle could give the Wolverines a leg up in landing Hutchings. Toomer and Gutierrez played under some of the same coaches that Hutchings plays for today, and that familiarity might help Michigan in Hutchings's recruitment.

A connection to Michigan is positive, but since Hutchings is just a junior, there is plenty of time in the future to worry about the recruiting process. For now, the focus is on the field, and winning games for De La Salle.

When Hutchings gets the recruiting process going in earnest this spring, there's no doubt that Michigan will be involved.

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